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Monkey Ball on DS

And by the end of 2005.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Famitsu again! Super Monkey Ball is on its way to Nintendo DS this December, having popped up in some Japanese games magazine we've never heard of honest this week. SEGA had no comment to make yesterday, but - given its proximity - we'd expect to see it in some form at the Tokyo Game Show next week.

According to whatever mag it was, Monkey Ball on the DS will put 3D action on the top screen while the bottom offers the top-down 2D view that traditionally sits in the bottom-right corner of the screen on Cube, PS2 and Xbox. You'll move your monkey around various maze-like stages using the stylus - and there'll be around 100 to work through, including some based on existing designs and of course some new ones.

In addition to that, we can expect six party games - some playable as a group of four via Wi-Fi - and early indications are that there's one based on hockey (where players draw lines with the stylus to deflect the puck) and another based on racing. Past favourites on t'other consoles have included one based on bowling and another on parachuting onto targets in the middle of the sea.

This won't be Super Monkey Ball's first outing on a handheld, of course. Apart from a rubbish N-Gage version (really rubbish), there was also a UK-developed Game Boy Advance port that ended up surprisingly good.

What'll be interesting to see with the DS version is the extent of the impact the new stylus control scheme will have on the game. Previous Monkey Balls have been slaves to the mixture of precise controls and precise physics, and a stylus surely has to mean a radically different difficulty curve and endgame.

We'll import Super Monkey Ball DS and let you know what it's like just as soon as we can.

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